The Guanghua School of Management held its annual Fireside Chat between the Dean and the MBA Student Ambassadors last January 15. The event was hosted by Ambassadors Wu Jiaze (19I) and Amaia Perea Mintegui (20G), and was held online via Zoom due to the ongoing pandemic. Along with Dean Liu Qiao, several professors of the GSM were also present, notably Professors Zhao Longkai, Jack Chiang, Shen Qiaowei, Liu Zhi, Ahn Seong Jin, Tang Yao, and Tong Li. Key personnel from both the MBA Office and the Career Development Center were also present.
Dean Liu started the night’s activities with his welcoming remarks. He wished everyone good health and a great year ahead. He also expressed his gratitude for everyone’s best efforts in managing the situation, as the ongoing pandemic has made a lot of things difficult.
(Dean: Professor Liu Qiao)
STUDENT AMBASSADOR ACHIEVEMENTS & ACTIVITIES
The Fireside Chat with Dean Liu Qiao gave Student Ambassadors an opportunity to share the milestones and achievements of the 19I and 20G classes as well as the future plans of the 2021 Student Ambassador cohort and beyond.
(Student Ambassador: Henry Sher)
Henry Sher (19I) began by announcing that 2021 marks the 10th year of the Student Ambassador program, seeing over 164 students take part from over 30 countries and regions. Ambassadors are characterised by their positive personalities, involvement in multiple school and social events, as well as the desire to help those in their community. As of January 2021, there are currently 43 Ambassadors spread across 18 countries and regions from 19 and 20 Class. These include countries such as Canada, Germany, Latvia, China, and Singapore.
(Student Ambassador: Amy Chan)
The second portion of the presentation saw Amy Chan (19I) highlight the specific Student Ambassador activities and achievements. Beginning with Ambassador Webinars, these online events allow current Ambassadors to share their time at GSM with prospective students. Ambassadors play a pivotal role to a students’ admission experience as they are usually the prospective students first encounter with a GSM student.
This was followed up with an overview of the “Why Guanghua” student blogs, Guanghua Coffee Chats, and a recent Student Ambassador video filming - events which all give Ambassadors the chance to share about their unique MBA journey and experience. Student Coffee Chats were unique to this year’s cohort, where students were allocated conversation partners each week throughout the semester.
(Student Ambassador: Deng Xiqing)
Deng Xiqing (20G) concluded the presentation beginning with sharing about the 20G student clubs, the Entrepreneurial Club and Pitch Club. The clubs allow students to develop their leadership, presentation, and entrepreneurial skills through club activities and events.
The final portion saw a glimpse of the strategies to further develop the Student Ambassador program, which included these five essential steps from continueing to support applicants, constantly building connection with incoming students，increasing online presence，to expanding the influence of the ambassador activities.
The Student Ambassador program hopes to continue building upon the foundation laid out and strive towards the year ahead.
EXCHANGE WITH DEAN LIU AND PROFESSORS
The exchange with Dean Liu and the professors, described in a funny way by one of the event’s hosts, and student ambassador, Wu Jiaze, as “We ask, you answer”, was a great opportunity for the ambassadors to strengthen their relationship with Dean Liu Qiao and the professors.
(Student Hosts：Amaia and Jiaze)
The ambassadors were given the chance to ask formal and informal questions, which were randomly selected during the event. The formal questions focused on more serious topics, such as questions about the MBA program, its development, and the dean’s and professors’ outlooks on the Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the informal questions were more fun and relaxed, aimed to get to know the dean and the professors better. These questions included questions about their likes and hobbies.
One of the ambassadors recalled that during the first class, Dean Liu gave a lecture about critical thinking, where he quoted Peter Drucker and said, “Nothing is more dangerous than giving the right answer to the wrong questions. In critical thinking, you need to know how to ask the right questions, and before you answer a question, you need to first understand if the question makes sense.”
The lecture made it clear that the Guanghua MBA program aims to prepare its students to be the next generation of leaders. Guanghua’s students are not only taught to be business professionals with the ability to solve problems, they are also taught to be great leaders highly capable of critically thinking through society’s current problems while striving to bring out new solutions that will shape the future.
Another important discussion revolved around how the pandemic situation and the recent shift to the online teaching methods changed the school’s perception of the current teaching methodologies and how this situation could be embraced as an opportunity for improvement. The dean shared that right after the beginning of the pandemic, the GSM set up a digital education center, which prepared hundreds of online courses over a short period of time. During this period the school became more open than before to put together different modules through different setups to make the learning and the experience more diverse and in tune with the changing times.
WE ARE GUANGHUA AMBASSADORS
Before the event ended, Ambassador Lisa Xie (20G), in collaboration with the other ambassadors and the office, surprised the dean and the professors with a video presentation. Each student ambassador gave a short introduction, followed by a brief statement of what being an MBA at Guanghua meant to them, and a word which best describes the school.
The event ended with an award ceremony wherein each student ambassador was awarded a plaque and was given a book by the Dean and the MBA Office for their roles as ambassadors of the Guanghua School of Management.
Source：International Affairs, MBA Office
Writers：Geffcristian Jordan C. Tan, Rafael Rezende Macedo, Amy Chan
Video Producer and Presenter：Lisa(Si-Ting) Xie, Lin Xie (Shirley)
Editor and Designer：Lin Xie (Shirley)
Photos：An Tu, Lin Xie (Shirley)